As measles outbreaks spread across the country, the chance continues to grow that we will see measles cases in our community. As a provider, you play a vital role in preventing the spread of the disease. If you suspect your pediatric patient might have measles, take the following steps to ensure proper care while protecting others:
- If the situation is not an emergency and you can perform the recommended measles tests at your office (serum measles IgG and measles PCR on a throat or nasopharyngeal specimen), do so. Make sure the patient, family and staff involved wear N95 masks and follow all proper cleaning and disinfection procedures after providing care.
- If the situation is not an emergency and the recommended tests for measles cannot be performed at your office, refer the family to Norton Children’s Medical Center. Call the medical center immediately at (502) 446-5300 so staff can prepare to receive the patient. Give this number to the family and tell them to call before entering the facility. Do not send a patient with suspected measles without calling first, as this may result in exposure to others. Tell the family that medical center staff will meet them outside the building and escort them to an appropriate room.
- Most patients with measles do not require hospitalization. However, if you determine your patient needs hospitalization, refer immediately to Norton Children’s Hospital. Call the Norton Children’s Hospital emergency department immediately at (502) 629-4019 so staff can prepare to receive the patient. Give this number to the family and tell them to call when they arrive at the hospital. Staff will meet the patient and family at the hospital’s ambulance entrance and escort them to an appropriate room.
Call Kristina A. Bryant, M.D., pediatric infectious disease specialist with Norton Children’s Hospital and UofL Physicians – Pediatric Infectious Diseases, at (502) 387-7882.